Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shamanic Birthworker Programme Dates

"Triple Goddess" by Susan Seddon Boulet

You will recall from an earlier post, that I was working on some kind of sacred or shamanic Birthworker programme. I am happy to announce that a schedule and workshop dates have been nailed down.
Shamanic Birthworker Programme
A 4-part series of workshops, of experiences, to help guide Birthworkers on a journey into the realm of the sacred, with the goal of providing them tools and information to bring the sacred into their work with birthing individuals and families.
The programme takes place over the course of four weekends: three, 10 hour workshops and one, 8 hour Nature Reflection Solo workshop (4 hour solo + group share & completion certification). Each component is outlined below.
Plenty of hot & iced Tea; delicious Chocolate; nourishing Snacks & Smoothies; and splendid Magic will be provided at each workshop.
Every attendant is expected to bring with them to each workshop a journal & pen (recommend one specifically for use during the programme), to wear comfortable clothing & socks/slippers (if needed; the host site is a shoe-free space), and to pack any special beverages, foods, or medications needed.
Part One: November Workshop
- Creating Sacred Space
- Smudging
- Creating Sacred Birth Altars
- Guided Meditation
- Power Animals & Guides
Date/Time: Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 ~ 10:00am-8:00pm
Prerequisites: None
Materials Needed: Something to represent each of the 5 elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit for our temporary altar (your items will be returned)
Part Two: January Workshop
- Sacred Rituals: Mother/Baby Blessings (Blessing Ways)
- Sacred Teas (safe for pregnant/nursing clients)
- Creative Processing Arts & Crafts
- Womb Weaving
- Journey & Dream Journalling
Date/Time: Saturday, January 24th, 2014 ~ 10:00am-8:00pm
Prerequisites: None
Materials Needed: A smock, if desired (we'll be using paint) and any special yarn/ribbon/string you would like to incorporate into a weaving for yourself (bring extra to share if you wish)
Part Three: March Workshop
- Conscious Conception
- Psychosexual Aspects of Birth
- Psychosocial Aspects of Birth
- Healing Birth, Healing the Earth
- The Art of Storytelling
Date/Time: Saturday, March 28th, 2014 ~ 10:00am-8:00pm
Prerequisites: None
Materials Needed: A birth story (yours, your mother's, a friend's or a client's – with permission to share it)
Part Four: May Workshop
- Nature Solo Introduction
- Nature Solo
- Group Reflection
- Programme Completion Certificate Ceremony
Date/Time: Saturday, May 24th, 2014 ~ 10:00am-6:00pm
Prerequisites: At least 1 of the other workshops, preferably all 3 of them (Certificates are given to those who complete all 4 workshops)
Materials Needed: Whatever you might need to be comfortable outside, alone for 4 hours.

by FelinusNoir on Flickr
Each workshop will have a limit of 8 Birthworkers, including one free reserved place for a Birthworker of Colour.
Fees: Each workshop costs $100 ~ this includes all materials and refreshments; for those who plan on attending all 4 workshops to receive a certificate of completion, you have the option of pre-paying for all 4 workshops at the discounted price of $360.
Requirements: Attendants must be *Birthworkers or active (not aspiring) student Birthworkers. While an over whelming number of Birthworkers are cisgender women, these workshops are open and inclusive of Birthworkers of all genders.
*What constitutes a Birthworker? Midwife, Doula, Lactation Specialist/Educator, Childbirth Educator, Placenta Encapsulator, Massage Therapist, etc., anyone in an intimate role working closely with birthing individuals and families.
Refunds: No refunds will be given. However, if you miss a workshop due to a client being in labour, you will be sent all workshop materials, notes, and instructions for activities so that you can still benefit from the information.
If your facilitator, Michele, a midwife, must cancel a workshop to attend a birth, the following Saturday will be the make up day for the workshop. If you can not make the make up day, you will be sent all workshop materials, notes, and instructions for activities so that you can still benefit from the information.
Travelling Birthworkers: All workshops will be held in Pittsburgh, PA (zip 15212-2069). If you will travel 4 or more hours for these workshops and need accommodations, please contact Michele to see what can be arranged. Michele may be able to provide limited, shared accommodations for an additional $25 per night.

Hibiscus Tisane for Pregnancy
Shamanic Birthworker Programme Workshop Schedule
This is the basic schedule for the workshops.
Workshops 1-3
10:00a – arrival, tea, snacks, chatting, and settling in
10:30a – workshop
1:00p – BREAK
1:30p – workshop
5:00p – BREAK
5:30p – workshop
7:30p – closing, tea, chatting, and cleaning up
8:00p – departure
Workshop 4 (Nature Solo)
10:00a – arrival, tea, snacks, chatting, and settling in
10:30a – instructions for solo
11:00a – nature solo
3:00p – regrouping and BREAK
3:30p – reflections on solo and group share
5:00p – certificate of completion ceremony
5:30p – closing, tea, chatting, and cleaning up
6:00p – departure
More information and sign up details to come very soon!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shamanic Birthworker

Many birthworkers, myself included, view birth as a spiritual and sacred journey for our clients. I have been thinking a lot about this aspect of the work we do for many months and how, at least in my area, there are no classes, workshops, or intensives that focus on the spiritual aspect of birth for birthworkers. Doulas, midwives, and assistants are trained to be educators and to physically care for their clients, but rarely are we shown or taught how to nourish our clients’ spiritual journey. I decided that it was time something like this existed in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Priestess Prayer by Molly Remer

Here I am
this is me
I am woman
giving birth to myself.

The priestess within
is shrugging off old ideas, old habits, and old patterns of behavior.
She’s stepping out, stepping strong, standing tall
lifting arms to the sky
gathering women
drawing down the moon
visioning the future
priestessing the temple
of her own hearth and woods.